Important Information About The Georgetown
October 29, 2002
Statement to the Board of Supervisors at the Oct 29 Agenda Meeting - Diamond Springs
To the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors:
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. My name is Patrick Leeds. I am the president of the Friends of the Georgetown Airport and EAA Chapter 1074. I am a pilot and I own an airplane based at Georgetown Airport.
As most pilots, I am a member of AOPA, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. AOPA is an organization of approximately 375,000, or half of all pilots in the United States. It's the largest, most influential aviation association in the world. AOPA publishes a monthly magazine called , The Pilot. In the January 2002 issue is an article by Lynne Frank entitled: Georgetown, Mountainside Heaven. I understand that all of you have received a copy of that article. If you haven't read it, please do and please concentrate on the next to the last paragraph, which addresses the benefits of having a full service FBO on the airport.
AOPA's president , Phil Boyer appeared before the House aviation subcommittee on September 25, 2001 and gave a proposal for a general aviation federal aid recovery plan. The proposal was incorporated in the General Aviation Small Business Relief Act. The legislation amends the Small Business Act to require the SBA to provide grants and loans to small General Aviation businesses and would defer repayment of loans and interest rates. Other legislation is pending that would offer assistance to FBO's such as the Cimmarusti's.
So, while our federal government is acting to help the small FBO, you, the leaders of El Dorado County have decided to shut out the only FBO at the Georgetown Airport. You have decided to take away from the Georgetown Airport users, tenants, and friends, the only aviation services available at the airport. And, make no mistake, your PR release about having a county salaried employee on hand to pump gas and provide security, which happens to be the same service now provided by the Cimmarusti's at NO COST to the county, rings hollow indeed. To put it in perspective, the cost of the proposed salaried employee will exceed the total annual revenue paid by the FBO to the county on the FBO's annual lease....by FOUR times. Is this how you meet your fiduciary responsibility to the citizens of El Dorado County? We believe the citizens of the Divide and County are the losers in this issue. Please, I implore you to revisit your vote that started the controversy you are now facing...extend the lease of our one and only FBO.